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Primate World Animal Fact Sheet
Papio sphinx

Equatorial Africa

Mandrills are most closely related to baboons and drills (a baboon, Papio leucophaeus, of western Africa). Mandrills are the most brightly colored mammals in existence. They spend the majority of their time on the ground searching for food, but move to trees to eat and sleep. Their troop varies widely but occasionally numbers more than 100 individuals.

The mandrill is characterized by the bright facial coloration, particularly of the adult males. Prominent ridges are located on each side of the nasal bones and there are six grooves in each ridge. The adult male has blue and purple in these grooves and a scarlet nose. Females and the young males have less pronounced grooves, no purple coloration and a black nose. The buttock pads and surrounding skin have a lilac tinge that deepens to a reddish purple when excited.

A mandrill uses many gestures and expressions to communicate. Presenting the buttocks is a sign of submission not only for the mandrill, but also for many Old World (Eastern Hemisphere or Europe) monkeys. Spreading the arms, displaying a lowered head and revealing the teeth in a yawning gesture are threats towards an opponent. The slight revealing of the teeth, which may be accompanied by teeth chattering is an indication of friendliness, a greeting and an expression of well-being.

Habitat Sponsored By:

Habitat: Thick rainforest
Diet: Fruits, seeds, nuts, plant material, insects, and small animals
Status: Vulnerable (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Weight: 60 lbs. (male) 25 lbs. (female)
Lifespan: 46 years
Reproduction & Offspring:

Gestation: 230 days. Offspring: Single


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